In India, lightweight, low-displacement, premium motorcycles are all the rage. In fact, it's bikes like the KTM 200 Duke which put premium brands on the radar of the average citizen, and subsequently propelled the once-obscure Austrian manufacturer known mostly for their off-road bikes into one of the most popular European motorcycle makers in the world.
As such, it can be said that when the Indian market first got a taste of the KTM 200 Duke back in 2013, it opened doors for many other manufacturers to level-up their game in the low displacement motorcycle segment. Fast forward to 2018, and the world was introduced to the Yamaha MT-15. During its unveiling, the bike was lauded for its aggressive styling, similar to that of its bigger sibling, the MT-09. Although the bike that eventually made it to India missed out on the fancy gold inverted forks, it still came equipped with Yamaha's 155cc engine equipped with Variable Valve Actuation (VVA) rated for 19 ponies.
Although down by around 40 cubes and 6 horses when compared with the KTM, the Yamaha was lighter at 138 kilograms as opposed to the Duke's 150-kilo kerb weight. Another strong selling point was the fact that Yamaha has long been known for its dependability. On the other hand, let's just say KTM's bikes don't have as impressive a track record as those of Team Blue's as far as reliability is concerned. It has been a long-debated topic as to whether or not the Yamaha could take on the KTM in terms of performance. Indian lifestyle and motorcycle vlogger, Travel With Aditya decided to put the two bikes to the test in a drag race.
As is the norm, the two bikes go head to head in a straight line, with riders swapping bikes on the second run. Unsurprisingly, the KTM takes the lead early on and sustains it all the way to the finish on both runs. The Yamaha MT-15 puts up an impressive fight staying hot on the Austrian's tail on both runs. The result of this drag race goes to show that KTM really lives up to its tagline, 'Ready To Race', and the 200 Duke continues to dominate the sub-200cc premium class.